Bonus: Krista Scott-Dixon – Stumptuous


Jonathan: Hey everyone, Jonathan Bailor here on a sunny Sunday in Seattle, Washington, which is shocking given the time of year it is and it is especially sunny because I am joined by what I would consider the optimum woman. Here we have Krista Scott-Dixon with us today, a woman who has a special place in my heart because not only does she represent what I consider to just be the modern strong awesome woman out there just dominating and bringing health and well being to so many, but also because she shares my sensometer on calories as authoring the EBook F Word Calories is actually Beep Calories is the name of her EBook. She is the proprietor of Stumptuous.com and she is also working with PrecisionNutrition.com and she is here to just share awesome knowledge with us. Krista, welcome to the show.

Krista: Well, thanks so much for having me and wow that was a great introduction.

Jonathan: Well I so appreciate what you are doing because Krista, I cannot tell you how — I was raised by a very, very strong woman. My mother is a beautiful strong wonderful woman, and I am all about strong women, and I think what you do to help further that message of strong in every sense of the word “woman” is just brilliant. Can you talk a little bit about that?

Krista: I think you kind of nailed it right there which is the strong in every sense. I think one of the things I am about is promoting this really holistic view of what strong means, and there are a lot of folks out there who have strong bodies but not strong minds or who are not kind of adequately in touch with their emotions in the way that they need to be or giving to themselves in some way and so really you nailed it completely. Strength is about being strong on all levels and living with integrity in a way, because strength comes from integrity. I think you captured it beautifully.

Jonathan: Krista, dig into me little bit about your story because there is so much… let me get my wife. I don’t want to get too personal here. My wife is like. “What were you talking about?” when I share this on this show, but my wife is a strong woman and I love her because of that. She is a CPA tax manager in Downtown Seattle. She is fit. She is robust, but she sometimes gets pressures from people. They are like, “Oh, you know, why aren’t you doing the more, let’s call it traditional or classical thing, and it’s a challenge, right? To be a truly strong woman in today’s society especially in certain areas of the country can be an everyday challenge. How did you arrive at where you are at and how can other individuals be that strong?

Krista: It’s funny actually because they are strong, but there is also the value of vulnerability; and I think these things need to be kept in balance. I think, in fact, one of the challenges that faces a lot of women in the world is that sense that they always have to be strong, and so they take on more and more and more. They have to be a super mom and a super wife and a super worker and a super everything, and so paradoxically it actually robs us of our strength and it prevents us from being vulnerable or being fluid or being imperfect. Really that’s kind of my story, and it’s funny because for the longest time I thought, “Well jeez, here I am. People are listening to stuff that I am saying. God knows why, and I’m not a super athlete.

I was a bookworm and a dork, like the kid pick last for the team and those sort of thing and even now people are like how much do you squat, and I am like, really probably a lot less than you think; and so I have this idea that for a long time I had to be a super something in order to be able to give advice. Then it dawned on me that my perspective is valuable, because it’s the every person’s perspective, right? It’s the perspective of people who are balancing relationships and families and work and just life in general and still getting up in the morning and going to the gym or moving or eating something healthy. To me that’s kind of what it is all about. It is not really so much confronting the world and ready to kick its ass all the time.

It’s more like kind of getting real with your own humanity and using that as a starting place, right, and allowing yourself to do the things that truly matter and leave the rest. This is kind of a process of thinking about what’s essential and what’s not essential and I think you and I are coming to the same place in the way that we think about fitness and nutrition, which is to say okay, let’s clear the clutter here, right, that we are all kind of bombarded with and let’s talk about what’s essential and so to bring it back to how women can be strong, one of the ways that we can all be strong is to find our core, find our center and to say okay, what’s essential, what’s meaningful, what things am I prepared to do today to vote in favor of a strong and healthy life and then what are the inessentials that I am just going to leave behind.

Jonathan: Wow Krista, that resonates so deeply with me. I think that’s so profound. It actually reminded me because one of the things I just took from what you just said is a little bit of the motivation, like the motivation is not necessarily to go dominate everything. It’s actually to be the best version of you that you can be by focusing on that which is really important. Interestingly enough, when you do that you will find that almost this butt kicking will ensue, but it’s not what you are pursing directly. It’s a bit like — it reminds me of a Henry David Thoreau quote which is, “Happiness is like a butterfly. The more you chase it, the more it will allude you, but if direct your attention on other things it will come and sit softly on your shoulder.” That just resonated when you were saying what you were saying about being vulnerable and not demanding perfection in all things, but in the important things and how globally that can affect your life. That’s just so spot-on to me, brilliant.

Krista: Thank you. There’s another piece of it, too which I think you’ve captured it nicely, but I think there is another piece of it too which is that really it’s about being your best self from an intrinsic place, too, right? So, I think the pressures on women and men are really to live up to an external standard, right? Whatever that is, whether it is following the rules or living up to an ideal or whatever, real creativity and real strength comes from being the best self from an intrinsic place, right? Being the best self from within and being driven by this kind of joy or a deeper sense of value so that the stimulation to do this comes from inside you rather than a sense of having to jump through the hoop or feeling like you should be or do something and I think you are absolutely right. When we are in that state of flow, that’s when we are putting in our best performance.

Jonathan: Krista, I just got chills when you said the word “intrinsic,” because you now just opened the door for us to wax philosophical on something that I just love because one of my favorite words which is based on what you are saying here. I am sure you are also familiar with, but doesn’t have an English translation is the Greek word “Arête” which roughly translates into excellence for excellence’s sake and if you look back at Aristotle, they were all about the point of life is to fulfill your own potential and to be excellent to be excellent, so why eat healthy food?

Would you do it because it’s the right thing to do, because it’s intrinsically valuable and I feel… tell me what you think that when health is pursued to be a certain size or to conform to a certain societal pressure that’s when it becomes a struggle because that’s really not motivating. In fact, I think that’s de-motivating, but if you are pursuing health because it is intrinsically valuable, which it is, that’s what we all want is to be healthy and happy and you believe that it’s right because it’s right that’s when it becomes… I like to say vegetarians don’t struggle to avoid to eat meat. They just don’t eat meat, because they believe that’s the right thing to do and if we can do that same thing, but just more for global healthy living, it sure becomes easier, what do you think?

Krista: I think you are again spot-on, and one of the things when you are talking, maybe think of was the question that is, “How do I know that I am doing the right thing for the right thing’s sake? How can I tell the difference?” One of the ways I like to figure this out is with somatic cues. I like to tell my clients that your body is your truth. It will never lie to you, and it’s like this kind of socially awkward but brutally honest friend that will say stuff to you like, “Hey, you have mustard on your face,” right? They are not that sensitive about it, but they are always kind of factual about it; and bodies are the same way. When things are out of order in our bodies, it tells us that things are out of order in our life, and we can kind of stuff that knowledge down or ignore it or deal it with something; but our body will always keep telling us that.

Attending to these body somatic cues is really one way to tap into the rightness of it, but the other metric I like to use is, is my life shrinking or is my life expanding? I think when we are on a path that is a path of the shoulds and the path of the rules, our world shrinks and I talk to so many folks especially women who are trying to do the right thing by eating a certain way or training a certain way, but their world is getting smaller and smaller and smaller; and they are almost like collapsing in on themselves with this process of trying to follow the rules and trying to be good this or a good that and so for me that’s always a really helpful way to think about it.

Is my world, is my universe getting bigger? Do I feel like I am expanding in a kind of conceptual philosophical sense. Am I having new experiences? Am I meeting new people. Am I getting a sense of being part of something larger, or am I trying to shrink myself, minimize myself, hide pieces of myself and fragment myself; and so those two things, your body cues and your shrinking or expanding are really your guide to what is the right thing to do, and you won’t always like what you find. You might ask your body is what I am doing the right thing and your body will say no or yes and you might be like “Hmm, I didn’t really want that answer,” and you have to deal with it.

Jonathan: Krista, what do you think in your experience with all of your clients and all of your writing and just all of your years on this earth are the most common things that caused people to shrink rather than expand?

Krista: I would say that one shrinkage inducing factor is living by external rules, and somehow we have this idea now that to be healthy means creating and abiding by a lot of rules, so I will hear people say like, “Oh, I am a really strict this, or I am really strict that” and I am like, “Mmm, that’s gonna end in tears,” because that is just not reality, right? Rules are external. They are punitive, and they don’t tell you what’s happening inside your body or you life whereas lives and bodies are like messy and organic and variable and diverse. So you really have to be prepared to kind of surf them to flow and ebb with their rhythms.

One big way to shrink your world is to create a whole bunch of rules, because then what will happen is you wouldn’t be able to follow them; and then you will “fail” and then you will feel badly and then you will create more rules and then that creates more failure and then kind of creates this spiral and what people miss is that it was the creation of the rules themselves that instigated the problem in the first place. I think that’s a big one. I think another one would be — this is related, would be social pressure and really trying to feel like I am part of this club, and I remember feeling that quite acutely when I went to a couple of fitness events and

I ruminated on this like, “Oh, are people going to accept me, and am I this enough or that enough?” As soon as you go down that path, that’s the path of crazy, right? It’s the path of not listening to your yourself, and then you start hiding pieces of yourself; because you think this community would not approve of me if I did X, Y, and Z, right? You start hiding all of these elements to yourself and you start shrinking yourself to fit inside the mold and you start policing yourself; you start policing yourself and you start policing other people. You become like that vegetarian that’s like hovering over people looking for contraband meat or that’s a person who doesn’t eat food X, do you know what I mean?

Jonathan: Yes, absolutely.

Krista: That’s a big one, and I think, also, the one more piece would be this assumption that to be a healthy person or well person or even an athlete that it has to be — that’s something that’s only available to a select few people, right? Eating well and living well is something that’s very complicated and expensive and it involves weird stuff, whereas to me, movement and good nutrition are like an amazing fascinating world where I am always learning more stuff; and I am always discovering more stuff, and so it’s really easy to shrink your world again by thinking “Oh it has to be this way.” No, it doesn’t have to freaking be that way. It can be anyway you like, and that’s the beauty of it.

Jonathan: Krista, how do you balance, because I love what you are saying here in terms of having too many rules and having put yourself in these strong labels and confining yourself so much. At the same time, certainly there are some things for example, if you were to just eat processed garbage all day, that wouldn’t work. You don’t want to have rules necessarily. Is it more of a principle centered? Is it more value centered? What does guide you then?

Krista: I think again we are talking about this distinction between being intrinsically driven and extrinsically driven, right? So, I can give myself rules like, “Okay, I don’t eat bread because bread is bad, like someone says bread is bad, or I can say I don’t eat bread because my body hates me when I eat bread. They are two different kinds of motivation, and every time I eat bread, my body is like, “Okay, remember, we don’t eat bread, because this is what happens and you will be sad and it’s just a much different experience; and so I began to make the right choices with this kind of outcome-based decision making that comes from — it can be feelings like emotions. It can be somatic, physical sensations. It can be my principles. It can be my values, right? When I eat something that doesn’t agree with my body, I feel it. When I act out of accordance with my values, I feel that, too.

Now that all being said, there needs to be a specific skill set in place to make this work, which is that you must have a certain level of self-awareness; and so with new clients, we start with rules or maybe not rules but like principles to say, “Okay, when you are eating, here is something to think about, and so in the beginning it’s like anything else. It is more structured when you are first learning something, but then as you become more adept with it, we ask clients to be more self-governing and to be more self-governing from this kind of inner locus of control. At first it’s very scary for them. A lot of them are like, “No, no, no tell me what to do.” I am like, “You know, this is not going to work, right?” In the beginning, yes you are like a baby learning to walk, and I have to make sure you don’t hurt yourself; but over time you will figure out how to walk in the way that works for you and eventually one day you might even sprint or jump hurdles.

Jonathan: Absolutely and that’s such a profound distinction. Krista, I love it. You captured it in a very metaphysical concept, I think in a very practical way, and I hear some people talk about this where, for example, let’s just use a specific example. I know in a very popular method of eating which is the sort of a Paleolithic type template which my research very much supports many, many aspects of, there is a lot of controversy around dairy products and around “safe starches,” and the most rational statement about this I’ve ever heard anyone make is, “Why don’t you try to eat those foods, and if they help you further your goals then continue eating them and if they hinder you from them, then stop.” But that’s not what we do. We want to be like, “No, according to this external rule, you should or shouldn’t eat those” rather than like just pop out and it’s really the most common sense approach you could ever take; but common sense isn’t often common practice. If it furthers your goals, do it; if it doesn’t, stop. It’s that simple.

Krista: Absolutely, it’s true. The simplicity of it is almost embarrassing anyway.

Jonathan: It really is, too, and that I love this and the beauty I think is that we can — human nutrition and physiology and emotions are complicated enough where we always have to account for individual variation, but the good news is we do have these guidelines like we can say this food is more nutrient-dense than that food and this exercise puts less negative stress on the body and more positive stress on the body than this exercise. If you are willing to look at those guidelines and embrace those guidelines and then find a path for yourself, I just think that’s so much more empowering because that’s a bit like… for example, you could either learn algebra, the basic rules of algebra or you could try to memorize the sum of every possible combination of numbers in the world; and you can never do that, but we constantly get these top ten lists and these tips and tricks which again those are just sets of rules rather than having these guidelines and then customizing them to our own life. It really can simplify things.

Krista: The other piece I think is that it’s not just empowering, which is a great word in this context, but we lose the playfulness of it too, right? Like being a scientist, one of the awesome things — and I have done all kinds of experiments on myself and probably many that were poorly advised. I have given myself every gym injury there is, but Dan John always captures this so nicely in his writings about his experiences, right? Dan John is that guy that will try anything on a bet, right? So, he knows what it is like to do a 300 reps, squat set or something stupid, and I think there is so much fun in that even though it is high risk; but when you give people rules, you lose the playfulness in the experimentation. Human knowledge is gathered largely through experimentation and observation, so when you take that away from people, you take away one of the biggest sources of knowledge, wisdom, and insight. You also create this tremendous amount of anxiety because people feel like, “Oh, my God, if I make this choice and it’s wrong then something terrible is going to happen to me” whereas when you are playful, you are like “No, this could go wrong, but I will go and get it on the next throw.”

Jonathan: I just love that element of playfulness, Krista, because I think that that is so often, at least I am fairly new to that, I call it the internet nutrition community, right? I was in the research world for 10+ years, and then I, in January of 2012, started to do more stuff on the internet. It’s that element of playfulness, and I am going to actually blame this in part on my gender; because it seems like sometimes, guys, whether we like it or not, we are like, “My science can beat up your science, and my rule set can beat up your rule set,” whereas I think some of the feminine energy which often times I love to magnify, because I think it is missing the sense of playfulness and is the sense of discovery and not being like my science can beat up your science but like, let’s try this and if it works, let’s keep going. If not, let’s stop, and that levity is so important because this is health. This is not about feeling like your are failing. This is about bettering yourself, and if that’s not fun, why are we even doing it?

Krista: Absolutely. I feel like fun is the missing piece and so many things. Part of it, too, could be our conceptualization of sport as well in North America, right? Sport is such as a serious business in North America, and let’s say your kid who shows any athletic aptitude at all — and I speak from imagination; but if you have any athletic aptitude at all, then you are swept into some fairly serious league of play pretty early on. In Canada, hockey is such a big thing. If you can halfway skate and hold a stick by age five or six, your parents are driving you to 5:00 a.m. hockey practices, and there is this expectation that you are going to get serious about this. That’s not joy of movement right there, and to be fair, sometimes it’s what you have to do to be a pro-athlete; but I think again our conceptual model of how we should do things is such a serious one.

We totally forget about the fun, and so I think professional sports or even sports in general is, it epitomizes that attitude. There is no place for fun pretty early on, and so the kid that gets put into hockey kind of forgets about the fun of like a pickup game or playing road hockey or playing hockey with a cardboard tube and a rolled up newspaper. I hear parents all the time saying, “I am too busy, because I am taking my kid to soccer practice, and I am like, “Your kid is four, why don’t you kick a ball off him out in the yard?” I am fairly sure that the average adult could master a game of soccer with a four-year-old, right? Anyway that’s a digression, but I do think we’ve lost a lot of the fun; and part of it, too, comes from the discourse of illness in our culture that foods will cure cancer or foods will give you cancer.

This is perhaps in part of the obligation of scientific journalism to come up with story, because much of science is about finding nothing or finding stuff that’s sort of boring. Nobody wants to hear about that, right? We all want to hear about what’s going to give us cancer or cure cancer, maybe one percent of things are cancer, the rest of it is kind of like, “Oh well, the rats kind of ran around the maze a little bit, that was it.” This is kind of a tangent, but there is this seriousness in gravity to it, which I think is really the result of multiple factors; so it’s our job perhaps to bring the fun back in.

Jonathan: It’s our job to bring the fun back in, and it’s also our job — I love what you said there about it’s either causing cancer or not causing cancer — I think there is a… I actually think Gary Taubes does a wonderful job of this. One time, I heard Gary getting interviewed, and I think most of our listeners are familiar with Gary Taubes, the author of Good Calories, Bad Calories and Why We Get Fat. Very much is anti-starches and sweets and goes so far as to say the now scientifically and historically scientifically born out statement that in many ways these low-quality carbohydrates are the source or cause of diabetes and obesity, and there is all these he was asked about, “What do you think about, for example, these certain kinds of fats that you are hearing about and the ratio of these fats?” and he said, “There is a good chance that that has some impact, but I am not sure that it would kill you before something else would.”

So, I am not sure it’s worth worrying about, because maybe it’s suboptimal, may be, but if it were to take 200 years for being subjected to that substance for it to have the impact on your health. Why worry about it, because natural causes will transition to you into the next life before that ever does; and it’s that focus you talked about early on where certainly there are these toxic influences which we all agree, like, “I don’t care what camp you are a part of. If you are not part of a multinational food corporation, you pretty much agree that processed garbage is bad for you.” So, there is nuance beyond that, but if we can just focus on avoiding those things, then we can go on and enjoy our lives. What do you think?

Krista: The other piece is that researchers are not coaches, and there is a certain pragmatism that you get after working with people for so many years — literally we have thousands of clients go through our coaching programs every year — and so your theories go down the tubes pretty quickly when you are confronted with real people who have real lives and you start to realize, “Oh, I can talk about the omega-6, omega-3 ratio all day long,” but this person is smoking and killing a six pack of beer every night, and they hate their job and can’t communicate with other people and haven’t seen a green vegetable since their mom was feeding them strained peas like 30 years ago, right? So, you kind of get real pragmatic and say, “What’s the low hanging fruit here? What does this person need from me in order to be just a little bit healthier?” and it’s not like how many angels can dance on the head of a pin kind of discussions that you have with them, right?

You talk about how to cook broccoli so that it doesn’t taste disgusting to them. I used to be a researcher. I still am a researcher, and that’s an amazing way to make your living; but it’s very easy to forget about what it’s like to deal with real people and especially, too, if you are part of the fitness and health nutrition community, you forget what the rest of the world is like. If you are regularly active, you are in a very small minority; so regardless of whether you are doing anything significant, like whether you have a good runtime or CrossFit time or how much you can lift, even if you are lifting anything, that puts you in a very, very small group. So, there has to be a lot of realism applied to this project and also to circle back around to this question of motivation. People are not motivated by scare tactics or complexity, right?

My colleague, John Berardi, calls it hysterical negativity. When you hear hysterical negativity, you are not like, “Oh yeah, that’s sounds cool. I totally want to do that.” No, you are like, “Oh, my God. I am going to die,” but then you become paralyzed. It’s paralyzing and immobilizing, and I think we want to mobilize people. We want to get them moving in all senses of the word. What mobilizes people is this joyfulness, this playfulness and feeling like they can do something even if it’s small, but feeling like they can do something meaningful and valuable in their own lives. It’s hard to remember that when you don’t work with real people. I can always tell who doesn’t have coaching clients and who does. This is why I love Robb Wolf because he is always so pragmatic. He sees real people.

Jonathan: Krista, tell me about this, with pragmatism in mind and with helping individuals get started, what are three tips or something that the listeners could take and start to apply to their everyday lives?

Krista: One of the ones I love is this concept of low-hanging fruit, like what is the easiest thing you could do right now to be just a little bit better, to be just a little bit healthier because people I think love, we all love big projects, right? We all love epic beginnings like the New Year’s Day kind of energy. We are all like, “This is it. I am going to change my life and be a totally different person; of course that’s not reality. I love this idea of the low-hanging fruit. How can it be a simple as easy as manageable as possible, and how can you do it right now? Usually, when I present this concept to people, almost everybody can come up with something that they can do and so I have this thing I call “The Three-Minute Action” which is basically what could you do in the next three minutes to affirm your commitment to a healthy life?

Usually when you say that, people will get up and start doing pushups or they will make a shopping list or they will do some jumping jacks or something, right? It doesn’t really matter, but the idea is that healthy life emerges as a result of small actions done consistently. So, to help people remember that it doesn’t have to be complicated, it doesn’t have to be heroic, it’s just the sum of small actions done consistently and when you put it like that, people are like “Oh, I could do that.”

Jonathan: Yes.

Krista: That’s what you want to hear and in fact you almost want to hear them be a little bit smug. You want to hear them say to you, “Well that’s way too easy. I am like perfect.” That’s the level that we are working on. That’s one, and the other piece of that one is to think of it as cumulative. So, this is not about 100 percent effort one day a week, this is about 50 percent effort every single day or 30 percent effort every single day. That’s still better than 100 percent once a week. Another thing I would like to tell people, they kind of scratch their heads at this one, but I tell them to do less, because we are all so busy, right aren’t we? Everyone loves their busy-ness. I could go off on a tangent, but I actually feel that busy-ness is a bit of an addiction. We love the head of busy-ness. We love to feel busy, but most of the time so-called busy people have lives that are full of stuff they don’t need and don’t really want and so, sometimes health is about what you add, right?

Maybe you eat more vegetables or you get more exercise, but sometimes health is about what you take away, which is clearing the clutter or removing things that are inessential or removing things that drain your mojo, right? Sometimes having more energy and wellness in your life is just about taking things away that are sucking you dry and so when I first tell people, they are like, “How can I do less? I am so busy, I have all this stuff.” I am like, “If you sit down and account for how you spend your time, where you spend your energy, you will see that there is usually a remarkable amount of things that you don’t need and you don’t want that are sucking the life force out of you; and if you could just remove a few of those, you would feel fantastic.”

For example, one of the things I think of is that many families are very overscheduled. There is this sense of urgency like if my kid is not in Kumon and swimming and whatever, whatever, whatever, if we are not completely overscheduled all the time then my kids will somehow end up as gutter-living dropouts or whatever, which misses the point that if you could actually cut back a few activities, everyone would feel way more relaxed. Everyone would feel way less anxious, and you would suddenly discover a lot of time to do things that are truly valuable and meaningful to you, may be going as a family for a walk or hike together would be much more worthwhile than enrolling your kids in some kind of formal activities. That one is a little bit more complicated to get your head around, to do less. People are always looking for how to do more, but really this is about pairing back what’s not essential, and the way to come up with that is, is to sort of think like okay if the apocalypse are going to happen tomorrow, what would I want to be doing or who would I want to be with and that’s what helps you get some perspective.

Jonathan: I think, Krista, it also goes back to what you were saying earlier of letting yourself be directed by results rather than necessarily external rules because like — for example, let’s say you are enrolling your child in these programs so that they will be happier or more competent; and that’s not actually panning out, and I think so often we conflate activity with effectiveness which I think is what you are getting at right here were like I think one of the reasons that gym is so useful is because you can’t trick your body. You can go the gym, but if you lift two-pound weights, nothing is going to happen. You can go through the motions and you will concretely see that what you are doing is not working, because it’s not actually working and I think that in some ways the gym can be a metaphor for life in that sense because it’s just you and in a lot of ways if you lift more weights and you lift them in a safe passion, you will get the results; whereas if you do two hours of chronic cardio, you are just going to get hungry and you are going to feel like crap. So just apply that to you life, just like you may be able to exercise less and get better results if you do it smarter. If you do less, but focus on the quality of what you are doing, your life may improve globally.

Krista: I think you have just touched on this distinction between what’s efficient and what’s effective, because you can do a lot of dumb stuff efficiently and be really good at doing dumb stuff or useless stuff; but that’s not being effective, right? I can put in eight hours a day of efficient work, but maybe to be effective I only need one hour and the same in the gym, right? Maybe I could be really efficient in my cardio, or I could come and do some squats and probably be way more effective. So I love this idea of really judging by the outcome and the results and different people will have different outcomes, different results, and different needs; and the question we always like to ask our clients is, “How is that working for you?” Right?

They will come to us and they will say, “Well, I am doing this or that.” I will say, “Well, how is that working for you?” “Well not good. “Okay then let’s change it.” or “Hey, it’s working great, awesome.” I think you have also alluded to this issue of quality, right? How are we bringing quality into our lives in all levels?

Jonathan: That’s something that I think we buy with this process of doing less. We open up mental time to take on because some of what we are talking about here I think some people may be intimidated by because in many ways it is — to be clear it’s not easy to be self-directed and to be introspective and to lead the examined life as the ancient Greeks would call it; but if you are not constantly manically running from place to place, it kind of becomes easier because your mind has time to be free and to look inward and once you free up that time and that mental energy, it enables you to do this deeper level of meta-analysis and pragmatism, what do you think?

Krista: I think you are dead-on with this one. The research is pretty clear that unstructured play is essential for kids and adults. That’s when the brain is doing its best work. That’s when we truly progress intellectually and physically. The other piece of that is, and this is a simple action that people can do, is asking for help. So many people struggle with asking for help, but yet people love to give help and I think we don’t often realize that it is gratifying to give help. So whether you ask for help in a small way from the people around you or you get help in the form of coaching, that’s amazing. No matter what your skill level, I like to say coaches need coaches. If I am coaching clients all day, I am not necessarily the best person to judge what I need, right? You do need that –there is so much value to having an observer just say to you “Hey you know what based on what I can see, here is where I think you should go.” Like asking for help again, this can happen in all kinds of different ways, but getting good coaching whatever that looks like to you, whatever domain you might need it in that’s awesome too and so you should never feel like asking for coaching means that I suck. No, asking for coaching means that you are going to be more awesome.

Jonathan: Absolutely, think of the very concrete area of life. Athletics, in some ways the more elite of an athlete you are, the more coaching you get, right? You have your own coach. You have a staff of coaches. CEOs have teams of people helping them. In many ways, the more coaches you have, in some ways that might be an indication of the better you are doing.

Krista: Absolutely. You got it right on for sure, and coaching can happen in all areas of your life. Really look around and see where you might need it, because the log and the logjam, because if you are feeling log-jammed in your life, sometimes there is just one or two logs causing that logjam. Everything else is flowing smoothly. So, it could be that by freeing up a log in one area of your life, all the other logs in the rest of your life start moving along beautifully. It could be that maybe the log is… maybe you need direct fitness and nutrition coaching. Maybe you need something more like counseling. Maybe you need financial counseling, who knows, but often it’s just these one or two things; and I think that’s another good message to give to people. You don’t have to fix everything. Probably a lot of your life is awesome. If you can just find a few small things that might be causing up a jam, and let them loose, then you will probably find that other things start to flow, so that’s kind of nice to know.

Jonathan: I love that and on the subject of coaching, because I know, Krista, we could talk. Literally, we could talk for a week straight because this is just brilliant; but if you are looking for a coach, Krista has got some amazing, amazing resources. So, please check out PrecisionNutrition.com, just an awesome resource with thousands and thousands of success stories. Please, please check out Krista’s EBook which is the F Word Calories and Beep Calories because it’s awesome and it’s fun, which I love and please also check out Krista’s website, which is Stumptuous.com because I really think you are a great example of a coach and someone who has helped so many to live so much better and frankly that’s why we are here; we are here to have fun and we are here to live well and I think you epitomize that, so I appreciate that.

Krista: Thank you again so much for having me.

Jonathan: It’s just been brilliant, Krista. We will definitely have you back, and listeners thank you so much for tuning in. Remember, as we talked about today in this conversation, remember, you can eat more and you could exercise less, but just do that smarter. See you soon.

This week we have the pleasure of hearing from Krista Scott-Dixon. Krista is the proprietor of the wonderful website stumptuous.com, author of the perfectly titled ebook FU#% Calories, and helps thousands of clients through her work at Precision Nutrition, and is here to provide more wellness insights than I ever thought could fit into a single podcast.